China is a large ginger grower. Production in that country has a direct impact on the prices on the world market. Peru is also making progress when it comes to production. In Europe, demand is on the rise given the growing interest in healthy food. Sales are also under pressure as the spring begins, since demand for ginger for medicinal purposes drops.
Peru wants to increase exports
While Peruvian Ginger was long seen as similar to the Chinese, Peruvian traders are convinced that this is not the case. A big difference is that the Chinese production is mechanised, while cultivation in Peru is still mostly conducted manually, assures a trader. The peak season takes place between July and February. During the rest of the year there is a smaller supply. An exporter reports to have exported 100 containers last year, and that volume is expected to increase this season. The main export markets are the US and Europe.
Chinese ginger sets tone in global market
The strongly competitive and widely available Chinese ginger has a direct impact on global prices. In previous years, the price of Chinese ginger was higher. Early in 2015, prices in the domestic market stood at about 20 yuan per kilogram. More producers have started cultivating ginger, so the production has increased significantly. Estimates point to a 30 percent growth in the Shandong region. The province accounts for 90 percent of China's total production volume. Within the province, the regions of Anqui, Laiwu, Lishui and Lushan are known for their ginger production. As a result, prices on the domestic market fell to 3 to 4 yuan per kilo this year.
Ginger is also available on the world market at lower prices, which puts pressure on the international market. Growers complain that international demand is too low. This month will mark the start of the new planting season, so it is still too early for estimates.
Australia: no need for imports
The growing trend for healthy products has led to an increase in the demand for ginger. Growing conditions in Queensland have been ideal in recent months, so a good supply is expected for the rest of the year. The harvest of early ginger takes place between the months of May and July, while a more 'mature' ginger is harvested between August and December. This one is characterised by a thick, golden yellow skin. In the course of the season, the taste of the ginger changes depending on the growing conditions. The start of the season, from mid-February, is associated with a higher demand. Due to the good supply in Australia, there is no need to import any ginger.
Belgium: lower demand due to coming spring
The demand for ginger has decreased slightly because of the warmer weather. In some countries, ginger is still perceived only as a medicinal product against colds and other diseases and in the spring there are fewer people ill, so there is less demand from those countries. Prices consequently fall, even though large orders are still made because other traders see good business opportunities.
Furthermore, the sector sees growth opportunities because of the fact that ginger is being used more frequently in the kitchen.
Ginger popular in Italy
Ginger is still a niche product that is readily available all year round. The product is taking advantage of growing health trends, as well as media promotions. Ginger tea, for example, is growing in popularity. According to traders, the consumption of ginger over the past two years has increased by 300 percent. On the wholesale markets, especially in Bologna, Chinese ginger is the most commonly available, and there are also some volumes from South America (Peru, Chile and Brazil). There have been no significant developments in terms of volume and prices have remained stable at between 1.70 and 1.80 Euro per kilo. Occasionally, the price goes up to 2 Euro per kilo. Ginger is not an expensive product; the packaging is often more expensive than the product itself.
Demand in Israel small, but on the rise
Ginger is usually demanded for two reasons: because of its health properties and for its use as a spice in cooking. In both cases, demand is still small, but there a growing trend can be observed. Ginger is a staple of Iranian and Yemeni cuisine, both of which are popular in Israel. Also, the spread of sushi restaurants, which use ginger, is giving demand a push. The health benefits of ginger have long been known, but with the rise of healthy nutritional trends and alternative medicine, ginger has made a comeback.
The country has a particularly small organic cultivation. These small volumes are sold through grocery stores at high prices. On average, the price reaches 4 Euro for 250 grams. Moreover, there are imports of ginger root and ginger powder, which reach prices of around 2.50 Euro per kilo.
Every week, FreshPlaza and AGF.nl publish an overview of the market situation of a product in a global context. With these articles
we aim to provide a view of a global market shrinking due to globalisation. Next time, soft fruit will be in the spotlight.